Showing posts from June, 2019

Rocket Axe Ribbon Cutting

Steve Laatsch from Rocket Wood Products in Pekin has branched out with his Rocket Axe Throwing coming to a venue near you.  The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently congratulated Steve at his newest location - The Library at McMahon’s Pints & Plates in Washington.  Learn more about Rocket Axe Throwing at:   You can also see more pictures from the ribbon cutting at:

Illinois American Water Diversity Lead Rhonda Carter Adams Recognized for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Rhonda Carter Adams, Illinois American Water’s Diversity Lead, was recognized by Who’s Who Diversity in Color (WWDIC) in the Most Intriguing People category. WWDIC is an annual publication that documents and celebrates the achievements of all people of color in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Along with recognition at an awards ceremony in St. Louis, Mo., on June 13, an article about Adams is featured in the 2019 WWDIC magazine, alongside other nominees, detailing the path that led her to a career in supplier diversity. Prior to joining Illinois American Water in 2018, Adams was a supplier diversity manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and executive director for the Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council. Her career in supplier diversity began at Caterpillar, Inc., where she started as a computer programmer and systems analyst. Networking and a cross-training program opened up the opportunity for her to have a role in their supplier diversity program. Adams

First Pekin Savings Bank


Illinois Central College Names Rocco Cappello as New Vice President of Student Success

               Illinois Central College has named Rocco Cappello, of Albany, Ga., as the new vice president of student success.  Cappello began his new position at the College on June 19.  The ICC Board of Trustees approved his appointment at their June meeting. Cappello will oversee the student services, student development, student success, enrollment services, and athletics. Cappello joins ICC after serving as Assistant Vice President of Students, Interim Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Darton State College in Albany, Ga.  He’s also served in the roles of Dean of Students and Title IX Coordinator at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, N.Y., and Residence Hall Director at Binghamton University in Vestal, N.Y.                Cappello will complete his doctoral degree in organizational leadership later this summer.  He also holds a master’s degree in educational studies from Manhattanville College and a bachelor’s degree in music fr


Goodwill of Central Illinois has received a $2,000 grant from Ameren for GoodGuides, Goodwill’s youth mentoring program. GoodGuides is the only nationally accredited mentoring program in Central Illinois for youth ages 12-17. The goal of the program is to pair youth with a positive role model who can provide support and guidance, while also being someone who they can just talk to. The grant money is earmarked for multiple field trips and activities throughout the year. They include medical career exploration, a STEM technology day, a cooking class and a positive image fashion show. “Grants like this augment the revenue generated by the sale of donated goods,” said Don Johnson, Goodwill’s president and CEO. “It allows us to expand our free services and provide even more to our community. The support of organizations, like Ameren, is greatly appreciated.” Goodwill’s free programs are possible through the sale of your donated items. Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois serves 21 co



Illinois Central College Athletics Names New Head Volleyball Coach

                Illinois Central College Athletics has named Tracy Heffren, of Eureka, Ill., as the new head volleyball coach.  Heffren begins her new position at the College on July 1.  Heffren comes to ICC from Eureka High School where she was the head volleyball coach since 2004.  During her time leading the Hornets, she achieved a varsity overall record of 217-120 and was named the 2016 Tri-County Sports Female Coach of the Year.  In Class 2A, she accumulated a state championship, two Elite Eight appearances, three consecutive Heart of Illinois regular season undefeated champion titles, and a Heart of Illinois tournament championship.    Heffren began her coaching career as ICC’s assistant coach for retiring Athletics Director and long-time Head Volleyball Coach Sue Sinclair.  “Her roots run really deep here at Illinois Central College Athletics,” said Sinclair.  “Not only is she a former ICC athlete and coach, her other family members have played here.  She played with h

Voices of Recovery

If you missed last night's episode of Extension 720 with Justin Kaufmann, you can listen to the episode  here .  Our alumni shared their inspirational recovery stories while our experts discussed the new  trends they are noticing in the field of addiction treatment.  About Gateway Foundation Since 1968 our goal has been straightforward: to help clients get their life back on track and achieve a life of sobriety, free from drug use and symptoms of mental illness, that is productive, socially responsible and healthy. Gateway Foundation is the largest nonprofit treatment provider in the country that specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders, providing treatment for men, women, adolescents and clients diagnosed with co-occurring mental health disorders. Gateway's professional clinicians help thousands of individuals successfully complete treatment by developing a personalized plan that treats the underlying causes of substance abuse—not just addiction to drugs

Illinois Central College Hosts Wetland Construction Open House and Field Day July 23-26

Illinois Central College will host a week of events aimed at showcasing the installation of a constructed wetland on the College’s Demonstration Farm, located on its East Peoria Campus. Admission to the events is free and open to the public. F armers, land owners, agribusiness professionals and students, conservationists, and the public are encouraged to attend.   A Wetland Construction Open House will run Tuesday, July 23 through Friday, July 26 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. each day on the ICC East Peoria Campus. The public is invited to visit the construction site to see first-hand the different components of a constructed wetland as it is being built and to ask questions of the staff. A Nutrient Loss Reduction Field Day event also is scheduled for Thursday, July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon on the ICC East Peoria Campus. Participants can attend a guided tour on the construction site, with interactive stations along the way. Experts also will be available to discuss agricultur

June Biz Barometer


John Evan's Carnival


ESGR Briefing with the Boss and CH-47 Orientation Flight


Illinois Central College Hosts Ready to Work Expo July 11 and 12

               Illinois Central College will host a Ready to Work Expo for potential students to learn about educational opportunities to retool their job skills to match local careers in demand. The open house style event provides potential students and their families the opportunity to speak individually with faculty and staff from a wide range of career and technically based programs. The event will take place on Thursday, July 11 from 5-7 p.m. and Friday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to noon on the ICC East Peoria Campus. It is free and open to the public.                “There is an increasing need for individuals with the right skills to fill jobs right here in the Peoria area,” said ICC Associate Vice President of Workforce Development Dr. Andrew Kerr. “We encourage recent high school grads, the unemployed, and anyone wanting to improve their job skills to attend the event to find out more. It’s the first step they can take toward earning a credential leading to a living wage and ch


Registration opens March 11 for the summer 2019 sessions of Illinois Central College’s popular College for Kids program. The summer program features fun and educational classes for students entering fourth through twelfth grades. Session 1 runs Monday –Thursday, June 10-21, and Session 2 runs Monday ─ Thursday, July 8-19.                  Kids are sure to find topics to fit their interests, with classes available in leadership skills, French, chess, cooking, dance, science, art, Harry Potter, balloon artistry, computer design and coding, and much more. Several new classes are being offered this year. Some of these include: “The Price is Right!,” which teaches kids to earn, save and spend in a fun way; “Disney 101,” in which students will learn all things Disney-related; and “Python Programmers,” which explores coding with Python to create engaging apps and games. Kids can extend their fun by participating in additional off-site Friday Fun Trips offered from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm on e

I-74 Lane Reductions Begin June 24

Bridges at I-474 interchange to be painted The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that eastbound Interstate 74 at the I-474 interchange in East Peoria will be reduced to one lane beginning Monday, June 24. The lane reductions are necessary so that crews can paint the overpasses and are expected to last until late July. Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment. For IDOT District 4 updates, follow us on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict4 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on

Morton, Pekin and Peoria Chambers at Institute for Organization Management

A Leadership Training Program Produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is pleased to announce that Morton Chamber of Commerce, Leigh Ann Brown – Executive Director & CEO and Courtney Eeten – Program Director, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, Bill Fleming – Executive Director and Manda Brown – Member Services Specialist, Peoria Area Chamber, Jeff Griffin – President & CEO and Audrey Kamm – CEO Council, Program Director recently attended Institute for Organization Management, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program at Midwest Institute in Madison.  Bill Fleming, IOM ACE and Jeff Griffin, IOM are Institute graduates and serve as US Chamber Regents building the positive impact of Institute for Organization Management to grow our Industry, Organizations and Communities. “Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in

Pekin Insurance® Named as One of Best Places to Work in Illinois

Pekin Insurance was recently named as one of the 2019 Best Places to Work in Illinois in the large company category. The Best Places to Work in Illinois awards program began in 2006 and is promoted by The Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council, and Best Companies Group. This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best places of employment in Illinois, benefiting the state's economy, workforce, and businesses. Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Illinois. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the ov

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Welcomes Kevin Nowlan as New Chief Operating Officer

– The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA) is pleased to welcome Kevin Nowlan to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Nowlan previously worked at CFPA in a variety of capacities over a 15-year period, most recently serving as Associate Executive Director. He returns as Chief Operating Officer (COO). “We are very excited to welcome Kevin Nowlan back at the Center for Prevention of Abuse,” said Carol Merna, Chief Executive Officer at CFPA. “It’s always bittersweet when staff make the decision to retire and our agency is saddened to see Joyce DeRenzy step back from the position of Chief Operating Officer after more than 20 years of service. However, Kevin’s return is serendipitous, as he was previously in this role and is familiar with our mission, our vision, and our philosophy. It is a natural fit and we know he will be incredibly successful in position as he helps to lead our agency.” Nowlan joined CFPA in 2002 where he served as a Prevention Educator and then was p

Pekin Insurance® Earns Superior Rating for Claims Service

Ward Group, an Aon Hewitt company, has awarded Pekin Insurance with a Superior Rating for Personal Lines Claims Customer Experience. Ward’s Claims Customer Experience Superior Rating™ is based on achieving a minimum Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 50 across all personal auto and property claims settled and measured during 2018. The NPS is determined through a customer survey process, and it measures how likely customers are to recommend a company's products or services. During this time period, Pekin Insurance achieved an NPS of 51. For the past 29 years, Ward Group has analyzed key financial and customer experience aspects of the property-casualty insurance companies, identifying the top performers. Pekin Insurance has been in business since 1921 and is one of the leading insurers in the State of Illinois, providing multiple lines of insurance. Pekin Insurance offers insurance coverage in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin through its growing agency force which

Pekin Community Night - Peoria Chiefs

Come support our 3rd Annual Pekin Community Night and enjoy a night of Chiefs Baseball! You have the ability to hand pick your seats, purchase your tickets and print them from home using this link.  Whats Going On: Harry Potter Night with Harry Potter items and Jersey Auction Post Game Fireworks **Groups  looking to purchase 15 or more tickets need to call John at 309-680-4064 for bigger discounts and benefits** Buy Tickets Here

SCORE: Email Marketing with Constant Contact.

Email is the most cost effective and efficient way to build and maintain customer relationships in your business. Tammy Finch, owner of Web Services Inc., will show you how to become a master of email marketing and communication along with a review of best practices and strategies. Tammy is a Constant Contact Local Expert and Constant Contact Solution Provider. Wednesday, June 19, 2019 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Fondulac Bank - Fondulac Room (Clock Tower Place) 201 Clock Tower Dr. East Peoria, IL 61611 Register Here

Gateway: LGBTQ+ Substance Use Treatment Program

DID YOU KNOW?  More than half of LGB respondents reported having faced cases of providers denying care, using harsh language, blaming the patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the cause of an illness. LGBTQ+ individuals face many of the same health issues as the general population, but at much higher rates, including mental health and substance use disorders. Receiving proper care for these issues presents a set of challenges for members of the LGBTQ+ community. As adults, they face many barriers in obtaining the care they need, and may have been discouraged from seeking care because of discrimination, stigma, previous negative experiences in coming out to health care providers, fear of negative reactions from providers, or having heard about others’ bad experiences when seeking treatment. Many health care providers are not trained to serve LGBTQ+ patients . This has a negative impact on the quality and effectiveness of care that they receive. Training healthcare p

Ribbon Cutting for Rocket Wood/Rocket Axe

Rocket Wood Products Inc. / Rocket Axe Throwing is having its official Grand Opening in Washington on Monday, June 24th at 4:30pm at The Library at McMahon’s. Rocket Axe brings Suburban Axe Throwing to a Venue near you. There will be free Axe Throwing Lessons for those interested in trying this up and coming Activity. Make sure you bring Closed Toed Shoes if your going to participate. Hors d’oeuvres and Refreshments provided by the Library. 

Honor America 4th of July Celebration!


Cullinan Properties "Kickstart" Helps Small Businesses in Pekin & Peoria

Cullinan Properties, Ltd. is bringing its successful Kickstart program, first launched in Quincy, IL, to its properties in the Greater Peoria Region.  The program offers new and small businesses a range of incentives and assistance to help offset the often high barrier of startup costs. The program offers a mix of rent incentives, such as limited free or discounted rents; construction financing incentives to make vacant spaces meet business needs; flexible rental terms with early-termination options; and marketing support services. Kickstart will tailor assistance packages to meet individual business needs. The program was first launched at Quincy Mall, a Cullinan Properties development in Quincy, Illinois.  Kickstart there has helped four businesses open within the mall: Sidell’s Bakery and Diner, Spi-Rolls Ice Cream, Que Town Barbeque and the recently announced Quest Games Unlimited. In Greater Peoria the program will be available at currently vacant spaces at two Cullinan Pro

June Puttin' On Pekin Recap

Sixty chamber members and guests attended the June 14 Puttin' On Pekin breakfast held at the Avanti's Dome.  Hunter Wooding won the early prize, while Nikki DiDonato won the late prize. Chris Valentine accepted the Spotlight on Business Award for NRG Energy/Powerton.  Sunshine Awards were given to Nikki DiDonato & Vanessa Cox from Aerial Athletics, Christina & Justin Abatie from Two P's Pizza & Pub, and Dori West from West Dublin Pub. Pekin Area Network presented their college scholarship for business students to Hunter Wooding. Sharon Samuels Reed was the featured speaker.  The former PCHS teacher is now the choir and fine arts director at St. Paul's United Church of Christ. You can see more pictures from this event at:

Recreational Marijuana: What It Means For Employers

The Illinois General Assembly recently approved the use of recreational marijuana after reaching an agreement with Governor JB Pritzker. Illinois will become the 10th state to authorize the use of recreational cannabis when HB 1438 is signed into law.  When will the law take effect : Illinoisans and non-residents will able to use recreational cannabis beginning on January 1, 2020.  Who will be able to use or possess recreational cannabis : Individuals over the age of 21 years can possess or use cannabis. Illinois residents may possess no more than 30 grams of cannabis while non-resident can possess no more than 15 grams.  Where can recreational cannabis be used : Recreational cannabis may not be used in public spaces. Local governments may authorize the use of private clubs where cannabis can be used.  Can local governments opt out of the law : Yes. Local units of government may opt out of the law meaning that they can ban the operation of marijuana cultivators or d

Area Recycling Open House

PDC / Area Recycling celebrated their recent expansion and investment of $3.5 million into their facility on the south edge of Pekin with an open house, tours, and a ribbon cutting.  Matt Coulter served as the emcee for the event, and he introduced his father, Royal, as well as some of PDC's vendor partners, elected officials, and Dan Pfeifer, the President of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  Pfeifer read a proclamation outlining PDC's history and their investment in the Pekin facility.  He then proclaimed June 6, 2019 as Area Recycling Day in Pekin and encouraged residents and businesses to properly recognize the significance of the day.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Fletcher celebrates 20 years at Hanson

Mat Fletcher, P.E., S.E., a vice president and project manager at Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s Peoria office, recently celebrated 20 years of service with the company. Fletcher, who joined Hanson in 1999, is involved in planning, design, bidding and construction for railroad bridge projects. He has provided services for more than 200 projects, including the reconstruction of Interstate 74 in Peoria; grade separations for BNSF Railway Co. in Galesburg; work for Union Pacific Railroad for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program; the BNSF intermodal facility expansion in Memphis, Tenn.; a new triple track for BNSF in Kelso, Washington; and Alaska Railroad Corp.’s northern extension, including the Tanana River bridge near Salcha, Alaska. In 2012, he was selected as a Rising Star in Structural Engineering by Zweig Group, a management consulting and research firm. He received the Civil Engineer of the Year Award in 2014 from the American Society

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Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Upcoming Events

June Vineyard News You're Invited- Wine, Fun, Family, Friends and DRUMS! We are your destination for Summer Fun! Click here for ALL Upcoming Events June Events 6/08 Jammsammich,  7-11pm 6/15 Bogart Jones, 7-11pm 6/16 Father's Day Open Fishing, 12-6pm 6/16 Father's Day Beer Stein Painting class * click here to register 6/21 Fundraiser-Drum Circle &Coco Loco concert for the Heller Center for Kids with Cance